Susan A. Davis (born April 13, 1944), is an American politician, has been a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives since 2001, representing the 53rd District of California (map). The district includes most of San Diego, as well as Imperial Beach.
She was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, but has spent most of her life in California. She graduated from the University of California at Berkeley and earned a master's degree in social work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her husband Steve Davis was a doctor in the Air Force during the Vietnam War. After returning to the United States, she became a social worker in San Diego.
Davis was elected to the San Diego School Board in 1983. She served there until 1992, most of that time as president or vice-president. For part of that time, she served alongside Bob Filner, who now represents the other side of San Diego in Congress. In 1994, she was elected to the California State Assembly, and was reelected in 1996 and 1998. In the Assembly, Davis chaired the Committee on Consumer Protection, Government Efficiency and Economic Development. She authored a state law giving women direct access to their OB/Gyns without getting a referral from their primary care physicians.
In 2000, she challenged three-term Republican incumbent Brian Bilbray in what was then the 49th District, winning with 50 percent of the vote. Her district was renumbered the 53rd District after the 2000 Census. In 2000, the two dominant parties in the state of California co-operatively redrew both state and federal legislative districts to preserve the status quo, ensuring the electoral safety of the politicians from possibly unpredictable voting by the electorate and so reducing people's ability to influence elections. Her district was redrawn to include more of increasingly Democratic San Diego, and she was reelected with little trouble in 2002 and 2004. She is the first Democrat to represent the district for more than one term since its creation in 1953 (it was known as the 30th District from 1953-63, the 36th from 1963-73, the 40th from 1973-75, the 41st from 1975-93 and the 49th from 1993-2003). The only other Democrat to ever hold this seat was Lynn Schenk from 1993 to 1995, when she was defeated by Bilbray in the Republican landslide of 1994.
Davis has introduced a federal version of California's state OB/Gyn law at the start of every Congress since she was elected; however, neither bill has made it out of committee.